Ten young unemployed adults from Plymouth celebrated their hard work with a pass out parade in front of family, friends, Jobcentre Plus staff as well as employers and senior fire service personnel.

Developed in partnership with Jobcentre Plus staff, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service's Phoenix course is aimed at 18 to 24-year-olds who are unemployed and require assistance in raising motivation, self-esteem and self-confidence to get back into the employment market.

The course covers team building and firefighting skills, including training in breathing apparatus and road traffic collision equipment. Participants also spend two days achieving qualifications in first aid and food hygiene, and for completing the course they receive ASDAN accreditation modules, which they can build on for the future.

Ben Williams, a participant on the course, said: "The course was much more then what we expected, cutting up cars and working with breathing apparatus, as well as first aid and food hygiene. The firefighters have been fantastic and everyone has been really friendly; everyone on the course is an equal and it doesn't matter what your background, they all work together as a team.

"I've made some great friends and learnt not to judge people by their cover. It's brought a lot out of me; I've done things I never thought I could do, like CPA. In a way it's made me more street wise as learning about RTC and first aid is really valuable. I know that if I came across someone in trouble I could do something to help, until someone better qualified came along.

"It's been great to have a structure to the day, we come here and we do a lot of work, it's not like we're just sat round. I've been waking up in the morning and really look forward to the day. I'd recommend the Phoenix course to anyone."

A Jobcentre Plus spokesperson said: "The Phoenix Course has helped boost the confidence and skills of young jobseekers in Plymouth. There are around a thousand job vacancies in Plymouth and Jobcentre Plus works with local partners to ensure people get the support they need to take up these opportunities."


Posted January 12th, 2012 at 0950 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: andrew.lynch@pavpub.com